Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians diagnose, repair and maintain a variety of heavy duty vehicles, including bulldozers, cranes, graders, tractors, paving equipment, off-road haulers and earth movers.
They interpret work orders, keep equipment cleaned, test repaired equipment to ensure safety regulations are met, and write service reports.
Technicians often use electronic and computerized testing devices to identify problems and problem solving skills to recommend solutions.
What are common job titles?
Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians are also commonly known as:
- Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanics
- Construction Equipment Mechanics
- Farm Equipment Mechanics
- Heavy Equipment Mechanic
- Heavy Mobile Logging Equipment Mechanic
- Heavy Mobile Mining Equipment Mechanic
- Tractor Mechanic
What are the working conditions like?
Mobility, working hours and environmental conditions will vary depending on your position, employer and which part of the country you’re working in. However, maintaining a safe workplace will be a top priority no matter where you work or which company you work for.
What skills are required?
- Mechanical and mathematical aptitude
- Interest in machines
- Good senses (e.g., smell, touch, etc.) to diagnose problems
- Problem-solving skills
- Physical strength and stamina to lift heavy machinery and work in cramped or awkward positions
- Be open to learning new techniques and technologies
- Succeed independently or as a member of a team
- Valid drivers license is often required
More detailed information on recommended skills for heavy-duty equipment technicians.
Are Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians licensed?
According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, trade certification for Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians is mandatory in Quebec and Alberta, and available but voluntary in all other provinces and territories.
Red Seal endorsement is available nationwide for individuals upon successful completion of the inter-provincial Certificate of Qualification exam. You can challenge the C of Q exam after completing a three- to six-year apprenticeship program (duration depends on your previous experience and where you live) and require a minimum score of 70% on your exam to pass.
In terms of education requirements, it’s recommended that you graduate from high school and gain credits towards your apprenticeship by enrolling in a youth apprenticeship program.
But many employers, even the ones who operate in non-compulsory provinces, hire technicians that are licensed journeypersons. In some cases, licensed Automotive Service Technicians and Truck and Transport Mechanics are preferred over Heavy Duty Technicians.
Resources for additional information about this trade:
- Ellis Chart (which compares training requirements by province or territory)
- Contact information for your local apprenticeship office
- Learn more about apprenticeships and how to get one
Which schools offer apprenticeship training?
A number of colleges, universities and technical institutions across Canada offer Heavy Duty Equipment Technician or Mechanic programs, including the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Thompson Rivers University, Keyano College, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Lakeland College, Olds College, Conestoga College, Centennial College and others.
For more information on apprenticeship training programs in your area, visit the website of your provincial or territorial apprenticeship office:
Who hires Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians?
According to tradeability.ca, technicians work for companies that own, rent, service or operate heavy-duty equipment and may specialize in specific types of machinery.
Photo credit: Libelul